The Story Behind the One of a Kind


A few years back, we met with a some marketing executives of a Fortune 500 medical company who wanted a way to customize every booklet label. They thought that this was a fantasy request, but they challenged us with it anyway. After weeks of R&D, we came up with this simple concept: We would manufacture pre-printed booklet labels that could be customized with a pc and desktop printer. The end user would print single ply labels on his/her printer and apply them to the booklet label. Pretty simple. We were excited about the idea. We called our potential customer and explained that we had a great idea to present, but we didn’t give any details. We wanted to demonstrate it. They were ecstatic that we had so something for them and set up a quick meeting.

Our customer had four people at the meeting including marketing and IT representatives. There was a real sense of excitement. They had tried for a long time to solve this problem, but failed. My father and I represented JHB. After some small talk, I began the presentation. I explained that we had developed a concept that would require no new equipment and very little programming. I could see the IT person get really excited about that. The anticipation grew. You could feel the energy in the room. Their eyes were saying SHOW US NOW. We can’t wait any longer. So, I reached into my JH Bertrand box and pulled out a pre-printed booklet label and a sheet of printed labels. Before I started, I reminded everyone that the simplest solutions were often the best. I said “Here it is. You print a specially designed sheet of labels with a laser or ink jet printer and then stick them to the pages of the pre-printed booklet label.” We had designed a special booklet label that could be easily opened and reclosed without damage.

If I could graph the energy in the room, it would look like a mountain. It went up and then straight down. They were literally in shock. They were waiting for some “high tech” way of handling the situation. It was one of the funniest meetings I had ever attended. Everything that this company stood for was about high technology. The facility was one of the most impressive I had ever seen. Everything screamed futuristic and advanced manufacturing. So, here we were with this simple idea of placing labels into a booklet label and a room full of shocked executives. They couldn’t handle the simplicity of the solution. Needless to say, the meeting wasn’t progressing as I had hoped. I began talking them through our thoughts. “Look how easy this is to customize.”, I said. I walked them through a demonstration slowly showing them how easy it was to paste the labels into the booklet label. I had each of them try it. I explained that we would supply them with customized flat labels for their laser or ink printers. We told them that they could be up and running in three weeks. We talked about simplicity in business and how this could save them a lot of money. Little by little we got these shocked executives to laugh and relax. Fifteen minutes later, they were beginning to sell the ideas back to us. They thought the idea was brilliant after 30 minutes. We left that meeting with such a sense of accomplishment. We had shown them how we think as a company. Simple solutions are often the best. The KISS philosophy at work.

There are many companies who produce and ship “two of this” and “five of that”. They may need a high level of customization of their on-product information. If that’s your situation, using a laser printer and a special booklet label from JH Bertrand is a solution worth considering.